I read it and stopped. Read it again. Why are the simple things so painful in truth? The few words that can pack a punch to the flesh?
"Only self can kill joy." It's Ann Voskamp again, throwing up one spark after another. I'm still not all the way through her book, the sparks fly too fast.
I say the words, feel them around in my swollen, wisdom tooth-less mouth: Only I can kill joy.
Work frustrations don't kill my joy. Relationship troubles don't kill my joy. Medical issues don't kill my joy. Rain and gray clouds don't kill my joy. Not being where I thought I'd be in life doesn't kill my joy. I, my friends, am the only responsible party for the murder of joy.
Harsh truth or endless freedom? Perhaps a little of both.
Accepting responsibility for my own joy is painful at times. Easier to blame something or someone else. Easier to feel frustrated, depressed, angry or down. Accepting responsibility for my own joy is also empowering. It means I am the deciding factor, the only one that stands in the way or swings wide the door to joy.
I'm learning in the counting of graces in my "Thank-full" journal that joy is to be found in going lower. The opposite of the flow of the world. The world wants to reach higher, stand taller and prouder, climb the ladders and the mountains. But joy, like water down a mountain to the valleys, flows lower and lower. I must stoop down to catch the joy and drink it in. Stooping low in the small things to see. Bending the knee in the hard things to drink. This is the path of joy, and I'm the one who controls the knees and opens the hands and lifts the eyes to see.